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Bradley Bouzane
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Ryder getting himself sorted out in Boston

Ottawa Senators' forward Chris Kelly (left) attempts to push Boston Bruins' winger Michael Ryder off the puck during NHL action at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Saturday. Ryder has five points in his first seven games with the Bruins. Photo by The Ca

OTTAWA - There comes a time for most professional athletes when they have to pick up and move their entire lives to another city, and Michael Ryder - despite back-to-back 30-goal seasons in Montreal - is no exception.
The 28-year-old Bonavista native, who was signed by the Boston Bruins as a free agent this summer, has to couple settling in a new city with bringing his production up to the level he enjoyed with the Canadiens two years ago.
"I don't even really know the area yet," Ryder said of his new home during a stop in Ottawa last weekend. "I just know how to get from home to the practice rink and back.
"I don't really have much stuff at my place in Boston, so I'm trying to sort everything out. Once the place in Montreal gets sold, I'll have my stuff out of there and it will be a lot easier."
Ryder's father Wayne and some friends were in Ottawa for the Bruins' game against the Senators, in which Ryder earned an assist in a 4-2 win.
They were then going to drive Ryder's belongings down to Boston and watch the Bruins play the Pittsburgh Penguins in their home opener. The Bruins lost that game 2-1 in a shootout.
In addition to the physical change in address, Ryder - who has a goal and four assists through the Bruins' first six games - has also needed to adjust to his new surroundings on the ice.
Considering he faced the Bruins up to eight times a year in the regular season during his four-year tenure with the Canadiens, being around the black and gold jerseys wasn't a foreign concept for Ryder. These days, however, the players wearing those colours have his back, and aren't targeting his No. 73.
"I didn't know anybody here. It all started from scratch," said Ryder, who has been logged a lot time on the top line with Marc Savard and P.J. Axelsson after signing a three-year, $12-million deal July 1.
"The guys are easy to get to know and the boys were very welcoming, so it didn't take long. It was only a week - probably not even that long - and I knew everybody here."
The right-winger said the chemistry of the team, outside of hockey, is open, with many of the players willing to tag along during down time.
"If somebody on the team is doing something, a lot of us will just go with them," Ryder said. "There's not a lot of cliques or anything, but the season just started, so by the end of the year, there might be different groups of friends."
He said he eats a lot of post-game meals with teammates Shawn Thornton - a former St. John's Maple Leaf - Shane Hnidy and P.J. Axelsson, adding his meal options are wide open, but cites sushi as a favourite.
Although he hasn't had much time to dig in to Beantown, Ryder said he enjoys that the spotlight he experienced in Montreal has dimmed a little in Boston.
On the other side of the coin, however, is the added pressure to perform in a city that boasts recent championships in each of the other three big-league sports - the Celtics and Red Sox are defending champions in their respective sports, while the New England Patriots have also enjoyed recent success.
"It's good in a way because you can go out and do your thing and not have to worry about people following you," he said of being a new Bruin. "You definitely get a little more privacy.
"If we play well and get a bigger fan base, it will be great. They love their sports in Boston, and they love their Bruins. Every other team (in Boston) is a winning team, so we have to make sure we stay on that track."

Organizations: Bruins, Canadiens, Boston Bruins Pittsburgh Penguins Celtics Red Sox New England Patriots

Geographic location: Boston, OTTAWA, Montreal Bonavista St. John's Maple Leaf Beantown

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Recent comments

  • Richard
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    More stories on Dan Cleary, please...everyone is on that wagon now. Don't worry, we will all watch Ryder throwing paper planes from the Bruins press box soon enough....that's if Boston even make the playoffs. It's all about work ethic.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    I have always cheered the Newfoundland Hockey players over the years. Even when I listened to the games over the RCA victor radio which was battery operated.
    I attended many games in Montreal, and got to watch Michael Ryder put many pucks in the net. I was very disappointed last season when the Canadiens didn,t use him as much. He will have a better year in Boston, and the fans will have the opportunity to support him more.

    I have been trying to get a Ryder hockey for the past two years, and no way would the canadians boutique in Montreal help me. They have plenty of sweaters for the so called Foreign Players SORRY, I feel Ryder is just as good a player.

    I will be there for you Michael no matter where you are playing. Give it your best my friend and we will be there to cheer you on.

    Frank Blackwood
    Newfoundland writer

    * formerly of Wesleyville

  • Mark
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Why didn't the Leafs take a look at Ryder? Here is a guy that would have bled the blue and white and been a great addition to a rebuilding team.

    Sad scene. Guess they would rather sign some European or Russian that we've never heard of before than sign a good Newfoundland boy.

    No wonder we are the laughing stock of the league.

  • Richard
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    More stories on Dan Cleary, please...everyone is on that wagon now. Don't worry, we will all watch Ryder throwing paper planes from the Bruins press box soon enough....that's if Boston even make the playoffs. It's all about work ethic.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    I have always cheered the Newfoundland Hockey players over the years. Even when I listened to the games over the RCA victor radio which was battery operated.
    I attended many games in Montreal, and got to watch Michael Ryder put many pucks in the net. I was very disappointed last season when the Canadiens didn,t use him as much. He will have a better year in Boston, and the fans will have the opportunity to support him more.

    I have been trying to get a Ryder hockey for the past two years, and no way would the canadians boutique in Montreal help me. They have plenty of sweaters for the so called Foreign Players SORRY, I feel Ryder is just as good a player.

    I will be there for you Michael no matter where you are playing. Give it your best my friend and we will be there to cheer you on.

    Frank Blackwood
    Newfoundland writer

    * formerly of Wesleyville

  • Mark
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Why didn't the Leafs take a look at Ryder? Here is a guy that would have bled the blue and white and been a great addition to a rebuilding team.

    Sad scene. Guess they would rather sign some European or Russian that we've never heard of before than sign a good Newfoundland boy.

    No wonder we are the laughing stock of the league.